With Barcelona maestro Lionel Messi the favourite to take the award off last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United’s Rooney entered the debate, saying a great showing in South Africa may throw up other names for the prestigious award.
“Of course the idea of being called the best in the world motivates you,” Rooney said.
“I wouldn’t go on about it but of course that’s what you want to be. You want to be the best you can.
“I’ve always said that if personal honours as well as that, that’s great, but it’s important that you concentrate on the team first.
“But playing well in the World Cup could make the difference, definitely.
“If you look at 2006, Fabio Cannavaro won World Player of the Year. He obviously had a great tournament but personally I still think there were better players over the year. A tournament can obviously can make a massive difference if you do well in it.”